RA remains after getting rid of carpal tunnel syndrome

golfproggolfpro Coral Gables, FLPosts: 2

I’m new
here, but I hope this finds some knowledgeable people. And I will try to keep
it short and sweet. I’m a golf pro who has had RA for about 12 years (I’m a 46
y.o. man, nonsmoker, not overweight). I was diagnosed long after my symptoms
began, thinking, “It’s golfing; it will go away”. Yeah, right. My diagnosis was
RA and ALSO carpal tunnel syndrome.  My right
hand is most affected, but both hands have both these conditions. I even had
the needle test for carpal tunnel to confirm.

At first, I had
very bad pain and numbness in my hand and thumb mostly. On my right side, the
pain and numbness would alternate back and forth during the day, and while
holding a club, it hurt so much I could not demonstrate any more. That of
course was not good for me or my clients. In fact, I had to cut back to working
part time.

Anyway, I was
on Methotrexate which seemed to be ok for a couple years, but then the symptoms
got worse late in 2014. I started Enbrel and then Humira but we realized I cannot
take any of those because of other things I have going on (which were not diagnosed
at the time). I took it upon myself to treat the carpal tunnel, and thankfully
the pain went down by about 90%. It took about a month to get rid of it, but it
worked great. I even returned to working full time again. But now I’m back with
the RA pain again. And for the first time I can actually tell this is RA pain
and not carpal tunnel pain. You’d think they are the same, but trust me they
are not.

So here’s my
question after this long winded intro. My doctor says he wants to put me on Azathioprine.
But I’ve read many discussions that it causes fluid retention. My doctor says “don’t
worry” ---- but I do! Since fluid retention will probably make the carpal tunnel
come back, I don’t want to take the chance.

Does anybody
have any comments?

I much
appreciate your time.




  • ero7273eero7273 Devon, UKPosts: 2

    Hi, Im reading your info n I can see why ur hesitant to use
    Azathioprine. I looked into it also. I have a history of skin cancer so it is definitely
    out of the question for me. Azathioprin also can worsen a whole list of things
    so I think ur right to second guess “expert” medical opinions. Besides, Im
    wondering if they know anything at all anyway. For me Humira works best even if
    it makes me itch a little. But I was curious, I have RA with bad right wrist n shoulder
    pain, awful flare ups. I think carpel tunnel makes it worse. I was diagnosd
    with CT but was not emg tested. What did you use to treat ur CT? I tried herbs n
    altering hot & cold baths but nothing helped much. No drugs bc Im afraid of
    too many med interactions given my cancer history. Thanks so much!

  • LizLLiz Posts: 6
    edited August 2016
    hello john and ero
    please click on the link for useful information
    welcome to arthritis-health and how to start using our system

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

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  • golfproggolfpro Coral Gables, FLPosts: 2
    Greetings, I made a boo boo. replied to your message and it got rejected because I (supposedly) bashed the medical profession. It wasn't intentional. Frankly, i wasnt very kind to them, but I don't think I said anything "inappropriate"..... well I dont own this forum so I will try to play by the rules becasue I really DO want some outside input. And just as well I am re-answering you becasue I realize I didnt even answer your question the first time!!!! Sorry. So long story short, i want "something like" Azathioprine to take the pain edge off. I understand about your concern with cancer though. I'd be cautious too, and thats sort of why i dont want the Azathioprine. No, for the CT  I didnt use drugs or herbs. "Been there done that." I got a carpal rx device and it worked really great. And no extra drugs! But if you're like me and have RA in your hands and arms you are still left with that RA pain even when the CT pain is totally gone. Granted most of pain I had was probably from CT and when it went away and I could work again. Thank goodness!  Maybe I'm pushing my luck now but Im hoping a little of some other (safer) med can take the final edge off without making the CT come back.

  • TerrieTTerrie Posts: 1
    Hi John:

    I've had severe RA for 34 yrs but was recently dxd. with severe CTS in my right hand only.  RA
    is on the risk factor list(among others) for getting CTS.  Anyways, I
    noticed tingling in my fingers before Christmas, when I was sleeping.  I
    shrugged it off.  Then the occasional numbness, itchy palm  and tingling while sleeping, came along. 
    I thought it was probably Neuropathy, since I've had Type 1 Diabetes since I
    was little.  This went on until February.

    My fear woke me up that night when there was a sharp pain through my index
    finger and base of thumb, tingling, burning plus the swelling on top of hand,
    right to my wrist.   I waited until 8 a.m. before I could phone my
    Rheumy.  A couple days later, he took me in, he checked it, sent me for
    tests and referred me to the Neurologist.  There, I was dxd. and referred
    to the surgeon.  My hand feels better now due to surgery.  CTS lost
    me many nights of sleep and gained tears.  I'm surely glad that your rx
    device is doing great for you.  Nothing worked much for me.

    As far as medications, I've been on most of them for RA through the years since
    I was 24.  Thank goodness, I didn't have the internet back then, for the most
    part.  I've never had to get off of a medication due to bad side effects
    thankfully(we're all different),  the older drugs or the biologics for
    RA.  I had to quit most of them since they didn't work for me.

    Just keep in mind, if you have moderate or severe RA, then you will need
    medications always to delay the disabling affects and pain of the
    disease.  Some will work well for you, some will not, some will stop
    working.  Like most
    drugs, they usually will cause minor/annoying side effects, not the bad
    effects.   No drugs are without side effects.   Azathioprine
    was the last drug that actually worked on me.  I was  in remission
    for 5 yrs and it got rid of my pain and swelling.  I was happy and
    The biologics were a waste of time for me.  It would be great if we had
    mild RA,
    like my Friend does.   Good vibes to you John......*Terrie.
  • LizLLiz Posts: 6
    hello terrie

    please click on the link for useful information
    welcome to arthritis-health and how to start using our system

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

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